Videos, referees and unwanted records as the tide turns | Lions Weekly Round-up #6
The British & Irish Lions Weekly round-up, brought to you by The Famous Grouse
The Test series was turned on its head on Saturday, as South Africa comprehensively beat the Lions 27-9, producing a 21-0 second-half display having trailed by three at the break. The momentum was with Gatland’s side going into the match, and even after 40 minutes, but things changed drastically in Cape Town on Saturday evening.
Finn Russell remains the main injury concern in the Lions camp, although he returned to training last week as he reaches the final stages of his recovery from an Achilles problem. The Scot should be in contention to play in the third Test.
OFF THE PITCH
The week leading up to the match was dominated by South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus’ infamous video, which was an hour-long tirade about the officiating in the first Test. With the rugby world wondering whether Gatland would be responding with a video of his own this week, he was swift to dismiss the possibility after the loss.
“I thought it (Erasmus’ video) was pretty interesting. I won’t be going on social media this week,” Gatland said.
“We’ll keep things to ourselves and keep to the proper channels.”
STAT OF THE WEEK
The second Test saw the Lions register the lowest metres per carry for a tier one team since Opta records began. The side only managed 1.24 metres per carry, which is the perfect illustration of how aggressive the South African defence is.
1.24 – The Lions averaged just 1.24 metres per carry against the @Springboks in the 2nd Test, the lowest by a tier one team since Opta have recorded this data; 3 of the 7 lowest single-match tallies have been recorded against South Africa since the start of RWC 2019. Nullified. pic.twitter.com/uledBOWmpa
— OptaJonny (@OptaJonny) August 1, 2021
TOURIST OF THE WEEK
There was only one debutant in the second Test, Scotland’s Chris Harris, who started in the No13 shirt and is our tourist of the week. Harris announced himself to the Springboks after only a few minutes of play with a bone crunching tackle on his opposite number Lukhanyo Am.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Referee Ben O’Keeffe was kept busy throughout the match on Saturday but particularly in the first half, which at times seemed more like a brawl that was interspersed with a bit of rugby. The TMO Marius Jonker was also called upon several times in the opening 40, extending the first half to over an hour. Following the close of the half, Murray White came in with the Tweet of the week, pointing out that it was longer than Erasmus’ video on Thursday.
— Murray White (@Muzza_90) July 31, 2021
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